10 week half marathon training plan
Has the half marathon you signed up for slowly been sneaking up on you? Maybe you signed up for a half marathon hoping it would help turn you into a runner and now you are finding yourself dreading the looming date. Half marathon training certainly isn’t easy, but you can do it.
We have a 10 week half marathon training plan to get you prepared for your race, whether your goal is to finish it, or to PR it. If you are an avid runner your likely know the benefits of keeping a running journal, but if you are new, check out our post on why a workout journal matters, then head over to customize your own running diary. Each running diary has half marathon training plans, as well as training plans for 5k, 10k, and marathon distances.
Finding the right half marathon training plan.
The right half marathon training plan for you all depends on time. Or really, timing. If you have loads of time before your race you can choose to add mileage very slowly. If you are looking for a faster 10 week half marathon training plan you will need to be prepared to put in the miles each week, and likely be prepared for some injury along the way. 10 weeks is pretty much the bare minimum, cutting it under that is not recommended.
Putting in the miles.
It seems funny to even need to write down that you should be prepared to put in the miles during your half marathon training. It’s a half marathon. Please do not go into this thinking it will be a piece of cake. Maybe if you were the cross country track star it won’t be too bad, but if you are just a normal person you need to be prepared to put in a lot of time, and miles, into getting ready for race day. You can’t expect to show up and crank out 13.1 miles without a decent amount of training behind you. Well, I guess you might be able to expect that, but you should also expect to finish the race hurt in that case.
Taking rest days.
Every 10 week half marathon training plan (or any half marathon training plan for that matter) should have built in rest days. I, personally, prefer to have a set schedule of rest days – for example, I might rest every Monday and Friday, for all ten weeks. Having set rest days allows you to plan your days better and it prevents you from putting things off.
Making time for long runs.
Shorter runs during the week are perfect for building muscles and cardio, but to build endurance you really need to be out there for miles and miles. Saturdays are a great day for your longer runs since you don’t need to worry too much about work schedules, school schedules or the like. Your longest run in a half marathon training plan should be 11 or 12 miles, and you should do this at least twice and at least two weeks out from race day. You don’t want to put in 12 miles one weekend only to run a race the next!
Building your strength.
I mentioned rest days earlier. I probably should have called them “non-running” days. The reality of it is if you want to get ready for a half marathon in 10 weeks (give or take), you don’t have much time in the way of rest. Those “rest” days should be filled with cross training. Things like weightlifting, cycling, swimming, mobility, stretching, yoga, etc. This will help your body recover, but also keep your cardio from slipping away.
Making a pattern.
The easiest 10 week half marathon training plan is just a simple pattern. Your long weekend run (either on Saturday or Sunday) starts off at 5 miles on week 1 and increases one mile per week. So week 2 you would run 6 miles, week 3 you run 7 miles and on to week 8 where you would be running 12 miles. The second weekend day you are always running 2-3 miles.
Now, during the week you want three consecutive days (which is why I like taking Monday and Friday off). The first two weeks your three consecutive runs will be 3 miles, 4 miles, 3 miles. The next two weeks (weeks 3 and 4) you will run 4 miles, 5 miles, 4 miles. Weeks 5 and 6 you will run 5 miles, 4 miles, 5 miles. From there you will go back down the ladder in two-week sets again.
This lets you slowly build up your weekly mileage, build up to a longer run, and also taper down for race day.
You can keep track of your training plan, mileage, run stats, goals, and more in a running diary – this will help you stay on track and pinpoint weaknesses.